The 2024 Nissan Kicks is nimble, fuel efficient, and easy on the wallet

The 2024 Nissan Kicks is nimble, fuel efficient, and easy on the wallet

By Ross Hibbs

The compact SUV still looks fresh and stylish. Pricing starts at $20,790.

Positives

Reasonable prices, impressive fuel economy and spacious cabin space

cons

Four-wheel drive is not available

what’s new?

No major changes

The 2024 Nissan Kicks is an entry-level SUV that combines excellent fuel economy, nimble handling and a roomy cabin into a good-looking urban hauler. Pricing starts at $20,790.

Nissan (NSANY) has chosen to keep the Kicks unchanged for 2024. Although this is the seventh year in the Kicks’ current life cycle, it still looks fresh and attractive. In Kicks, Nissan has created a top-tier urban warrior that’s easy to park and performs well in stop-and-go traffic. The Kicks has the best fuel economy in its class and makes efficient road trips. Easy on the eyes and the wallet, the 2024 Nissan Kicks excels as an entry-level crossover. Alternatives include subcompact SUV competitors like the Chevy Trax and Hyundai Venue.

The Kicks hasn’t changed, likely because it will be redesigned for 2025. The Kicks debuted in 2018; Hence, it is scheduled for a complete makeover.

Nissan Kicks 2024 prices

Pricing for the 2024 Nissan Kicks starts at $20,790. This is for the entry-level S-Class, making the Kicks one of the best deals in the segment. Only a few models, such as the Hyundai Venue and Chevy Trax, beat it. Nissan keeps things relatively simple for Kicks buyers. For example, there are only three trim levels. Furthermore, only the top SR trim ($23,350) offers factory-installed option packages. You don’t even need to hesitate with all-wheel drive because the Kicks doesn’t offer it; It’s front wheel drive only. Nissan doesn’t offer a smaller SUV; However, if you need more space and power, we suggest the Nissan Rogue, which costs about $9,000 more.

   Kicks S   $20,790 
   Kicks SV  $22,650 
   Kicks SR  $23,350 

These are Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Prices and do not include the $1,365 factory-to-dealer delivery fee (destination fee).

Before purchasing a Nissan Kicks, check the purchase price at Kelley Blue Book Fair to know what you should really pay. Within its segment, the Nissan Kicks has an average track record of retaining its value so far. It outperforms the Mazda CX-30 and Jeep Renegade.

SEE: 2023 Mazda CX-30 vs. Hyundai Venue, Two Small SUVs Under $25K: Which Is Better?

Power, ride and handling

Nissan achieves its respectable fuel economy numbers with the Kicks by mating a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine with a continuously variable automatic transmission. They are designed to conserve fuel rather than enhance acceleration. On the one hand, this duo offers long distance. On the other hand, acceleration is slow. Around town, you won’t notice it as you pass gas station after gas station. The Kicks fit perfectly into the rhythm of the busy city streets. Where you might notice its less enthusiastic performance goes uphill is with a cabin full of people and a cargo area full of luggage.

The Kicks offers a relatively supple ride for a small crossover, and the steering is responsive. We live in the age of small crossovers that manage 1 mpg with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). For example, Kia (KR:000270) Seltos, Honda (HMC) HR-V, and Toyota (TM) Corolla Cross have one. Some of our owners’ reviews suggest a drone that can be carried into the cabin.

RELATED: 2024 Honda HR-V or Toyota Corolla Cross: Which is better?

Fuel economy

With government-estimated fuel economy numbers at the top end of its class, the Kicks achieves an impressive 33 mpg in mixed city/highway driving. At 31 mpg, the Volkswagen Taos and Hyundai Venue come close. At the bottom of the pile are the all-wheel-drive Jeep Renegade (26 mpg) and the front-wheel-drive Honda HR-V (28 mpg). You can check out more about fuel economy on the EPA’s fuel economy website.

Roomy for its class

Nissan offers a tidy cabin that seats five people. Its interior is larger than key rivals like the Hyundai Venue and Toyota Corolla Cross. However, we think three adults across the 60/40-split-folding rear seat are adequate for longer trips than hitting the office lunch spot. Up front, two people can sit comfortably, enjoying the view and elbow room. Some may find the cloth-covered front seats a bit firm for longer trips, as a few of our owner reviews noted. We applaud Nissan’s efforts to reduce the cost of the base Kicks S; However, we missed a center console with side-by-side cup holders and a padded armrest. Nissan equips the Model S’s driver’s seat with a fold-down right armrest, but it’s somewhat cramped and a point of contention for more than a few owners. Nissan corrects this flaw in the top two models. Another problem: The only cupholders in the second-row seat are in the doors.

Rear-seat legroom (33.5 inches) is a bit tight compared to others in this segment. The Honda HR-V offers 37.7 inches, and the Jeep Renegade 35.1 inches. What it lacks in back-seat legroom, the Kicks makes up for with better-than-average cargo space (53.1 cubic feet). As a duty runner, the Kicks’ plus is a cargo area that’s roughly the same size as a Chevy Trailblazer but much larger than a Hyundai Venue.

SEE: 2024 Chevrolet Trailblazer vs. Hyundai Kona: Which compact SUV is better?

Durable exterior design

Despite being in the supposed final year of its life cycle, this generation of Kicks is holding up well because of its appeal. The exterior design is sharp and eye-catching.

Our favorite features and technologies

A full package of safety tech, even in base S trim, Kicks comes with a forward collision warning system with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection. It also includes rear park assist with automatic braking, rear cross-traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, and lane departure warning.

A surround-view camera, a rarity for a subcompact crossover, uses a series of cameras around the vehicle to create a bird’s-eye view of the vehicle and the immediate surrounding area. This feature is present on the top SR model.

Apple CarPlay and Android AutoStandard On every Kicks, smartphone integration with Apple (AAPL) CarPlay and Android Auto gives you access to music, contacts and navigation through the car’s infotainment system.

Bose Audio System Available on the top-end SR trim, the 8-speaker Bose system delivers crisp, clear sound.

Advanced Driver Assistance Display Using a 7-inch LCD screen, this feature displays important information to the driver, such as mpg, text messages, trip computer information, and more. It’s standard on the top two models.

Automatic Brake Hold It’s not difficult to keep your foot on the brake while waiting at a long stop sign. But it’s easier not to do that.

Engine and transmission

The 122-horsepower four-cylinder probably won’t take home any prizes at Saturday night’s raffle events on Main Street. It would be more fun to drive with a traditional 5- or 6-speed automatic transmission; However, the continuously variable automatic transmission is designed for fuel economy rather than impressive acceleration. The Kicks will hit 60 mph in about 9.0 seconds, which is very close to the Honda HR-V and Chevy Trailblazer’s times.

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3 year/36,000 mile warranty

Nissan’s warranty protection for the 2024 Kicks is typical of major manufacturers, with a limited bumper-to-bumper warranty covering three years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first. At five years or 60,000 miles, a powertrain warranty is also standard.

Safety assessments

In government crash and safety tests, the 2024 Nissan Kicks received an overall score of 4 out of 5 stars from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration. It performed better in Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, earning a top score of “Good” in six out of six tests.

KBB’s car review methodology.

This story was originally published on KBB.com.

– Ross Hibbs

This content was created by MarketWatch, operated by Dow Jones & Co. MarketWatch is published independently of Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal.

 

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05-23-12 0502ET

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